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Fruit juice increases risk of diabetes, whole fruit decreases it

Drinking that big glass of fruit juice may seem like a healthy way to start your day, but British, U.S. and Singaporean researchers have concluded that if you want to lower your risk of type 2 diabetes you should stop drinking the juice and eat more whole fresh fruit, especially blueberries, grapes, apples and pears.

According to Fox News, researchers reviewed data from three big health investigations that took place in the United States, spanning a quarter of a century in all. Who were the test subjects? More than 187,000 nurses and other professional caregivers who agreed to have their lives chronicled for years, keeping journals and answering questions about eating habits, weight, smoking, physical activity and other pointers to lifestyle. After the study, researchers found that approximately 6.5 percent of them had developed diabetes.

What did the study conclude?

Volunteers who consumed at least two servings of certain whole fruits, especially blueberries, grapes and apples each week, reduced their risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 23 percent. This decrease was much more than those who reported they ate less than one serving of these fruits each month. Not only did researchers find that eating fruit can lower the risk of diabetes, they also believe that specific fruits can be “especially beneficial for lower diabetes risk."

What about fruit Juice consumption?

Fruit juice drinkers, however, did not fare as well. According to the study, volunteers who consumed “one or more servings of fruit juice each day saw their risk of the disease increase by as much as 21 percent.” Researchers noted that given this statistic, it makes much more sense to swap out the whole fruit for the fruit juice. They recommended swapping three servings of juice per week for whole fruits

Researchers note, however, that there is more research work to be done. They are not sure why there is such a substantial difference between whole fruit and fruit juices, especially considering the nutritional value of both whole fruit and juice is comparable. One theory is the difference arises due to the fact one food is a semi-solid and the other is a liquid, and the juice will move through the body more quickly. They also noted that “fruit juices lead to more rapid and larger changes in serum [blood] levels of glucose and insulin than whole fruits."

Researchers also noted the benefits of certain compounds found in berries and grapes, called anthocyanins, which have been found to lower the risk of heart attacks. Fruits, such as cantaloupe and strawberries, however, did not produce as significant results for lowering diabetes.

If not fruit juice- what should we eat?

Evidence has been growing for years that the healthiest food is food which is not processed. Generally, food should be eaten in the form closest to how it is grown. God made fruit- not fruit juice.
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